Select the Right Feeder
Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones…no matter what size bird you’re looking to attract, there is a feeder to match (or ten)! The variety of birds in our skies means there’s a seemingly endless choices to match the perfect seed with the perfect feeder to bring birds into your backyard. While the offering may seem overwhelming, look for these basic feeder styles as a place to start – most feeders will simply be variations of these classic styles.
Despite being the most basic feeder style, many backyards don’t have a platform feeder – they’re missing out! Platform feeders offer seed to a variety of birds including sparrows, pigeons, doves, and grosbeaks that prefer ground feeding or may be less aggressive than the birds that compete for the feeder perches. Good platform feeders are elevated off the ground by at least 2 inches (and some are on poles many feet in the air) with mesh bottoms to allow water to drain out. Filling only enough seed for a day or two means the seed stays fresh and you can quickly adapt to whatever is most popular in your yard.
The quintessential backyard feeder, the hopper or “house” feeder is the most versatile feeder in any backyard. Styles vary from simple design/aesthetic changes to feeder port sizes, easy-fill designs, additional attached feeders, and more. The concept is simple – fill the feeder from the top, and let gravity pull seeds through the port or open slot at the bottom as birds eat from a perch at the base. The sheer number of styles with endless options proves this style is a winner with the most colorful and desirable backyard birds – fill a few in your backyard and you’ll see why.
Although primarily designed to attract goldfinches and others from the finch family, the thistle feeder is another classic feeder with many variations despite the overall simplicity. The blueprint design is either a vertical tube or a mesh “sock” designed with very small holes or ports to keep tiny thistle seeds contained. Solid wall tubes have perches next to small ports, and mesh (wire or cloth) feeders are easily gripped by goldfinches using their feet – sometimes even hanging upside down to eat! The brilliant goldfinch colors and the amount that can flock to feeding at once makes this one of the most entertaining and rewarding feeders to have in your backyard.
A simple but very common variation of gravity feeder for traditional blends and straight ingredients like black oil sunflower. Tube feeders are versatile by allowing both hard plastic and mesh walls to be used, allowing birds like woodpeckers, grosbeaks, chickadees, finches and more to hang from the mesh or perches to feed. Some tube feeders even have perches above the seed ports to allow only select small birds to hang upside down and feed while keeping out larger and more aggressive birds.
Suet and seed cakes cannot be fed in a traditional gravity feeder – they need a special feeder that can be attached to other feeders or stand alone. Suet/cake feeders are usually wire “cages” with large openings designed to be reached by larger birds while also allowing them a solid grip either on the cage or as part of the feeder design. These versatile feeders also sport many variations, allowing backyard bird feeders an endless array of combinations to add these high energy, high protein snacks to their offering.
Although this is a Winter catalog, no bird feeder lineup would be complete without mentioning the amazing hummingbird and orioles and their feeders. While the season lasts only the warm months, there may be as many hummingbird/oriole feeder designs as all of the other feeders combined. Most feeders are for liquid nectar, but more options are appearing regularly for fruit and even insects. Look for our spring bird feeding guide for much more information on these incredible migratory miracles.
With a constant stream of wooden fixtures and store components being constructed by our own woodshop, we decided to use the “cut-offs” and leftover wood to make our own line of bird and wildlife houses and feeders. Take a look at a few we wanted to highlight. Most are in stock most of the time. But when you rely on scraps to build them, availability fluctuates. So grab ‘em if you see ‘em!
CountryMax Hemlock Bluebird House is made in the CountryMax Woodshop using rot resistant Hemlock lumber from recent builds. This home is perfect for beginning birders, creating a convenient and rustic shelter. The roof slopes downward and has a slight overhang, preventing water from running into the 1.5" diameter entrance hole.
Excellent, simple dual-purpose feeder for all backyards. Hinged roof allows for easy cleaning and filling. Great for feeding cardinals, finches, nuthatches, chickadees and more.
Duck houses are simple yet effective when mounted properly and in the correct location. Mount on a post 4–10 feet high, or on a tree 10–20 feet high, and within 1/4 mile of water. A fun, rewarding house for backyard enthusiasts and sportsmen alike.
This house is maintenance free and provides a welcoming habitat that will encourage brown bats to nest. Brown bats can consume 600 mosquitoes in an hour, helping to naturally control the insect population in your backyard. Constructed of weather-resistant cedar.
Squirrels will love "sitting" at the picnic table as they gobble down cob corn. This squirrel picnic table for corn cobs is sure to be a hit! At 12" x 12" and 8" deep, you don't need to worry about the feeder being too small. Easily mountable to a tree.
A twist on the wildly popular Picnic Table Squirrel Feeder – the Squirrel Saloon! Pull up a stool and watch your furry backyard critters belly up to the bar while they eat corn, nuts, and other seeds from our gravity feeder design! The ultimate “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” feeder, get a laugh and snap a pic so we can join the fun!